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Jeep Wrangler Shift Lock Release Guide
How to manually shift the gear selector from "P" (Park) to "N" (Neutral) in a 2018 to 2023 Jeep Wrangler.

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2020 Wrangler
Access Cover - Front
Small Notch In Cover
This automotive maintenance tutorial was specifically written to assist owners of the "JL" fourth generation (2017, 2018, 2019, 2020, 2021, 2022 & 2023) Jeep Wrangler SUV in using the automatic transmission's shift lock release mechanism to manually move the vehicle due to a dead 12V automotive battery or a missing key fob.

Owners of other Jeep, Dodge and RAM vehicles such as the Grand Cherokee, Compass, Renegade, Gladiator, Cherokee, Grand Wagoneer, Wagoneer, Charger, Challenger, Durango, RAM 1500, Promaster, 2500 and 3500 may also find these DIY instructions to be helpful.

The first few steps are to place wheel chocks or blocks on both sides of the front and/or rear tires to prevent the vehicle from moving unexpectedly.

The only tool needed to access the shift lock release mechanism is a small flat head screwdriver such as from a precision screwdriver set.

Sit in the driver's seat and locate the rectangular shaped black plastic access cover just in front of the gear selector (close to the "P" symbol for "Park").

There is a small notch at the top rear edge of the access cover.


Insert Screwdriver
Pry Out Plastic Cover
Pull Out Orange Strap
Insert the blade of the small flat head screwdriver into the notch and very gently pry out the access cover.

Try to avoid using excessive force. The access cover should pop out relatively easily.

Set the access cover aside on the right (passenger) side of the center console. The cover is attached by a rubber strap.

Make sure your foot is firmly pressed down on the brake pedal to prevent the vehicle from moving unexpectedly.

Tell your assistants or anyone else near the vehicle to stand clear.

Pull out the bright orange strap from inside the opening near the front of the gear selector assembly.

Pull Cord To Release
Move From "P" To "N"
Line Up Cover
Carefully pull on the orange strap until you feel or hear the shift lock mechanism disengage.

While holding the orange strap in the extended position, use your other hand to move the gear selector from "P" (Park) back to "N" (Neutral).

Release the orange cord.

Have your assistants manually push the vehicle into the desired position or load the SUV on to the tow truck.

Once you are done moving the vehicle, push down on the brake pedal and change the gear selector back from Neutral to Park.

Line up the access cover with the rectangular shaped opening in front of the gear selector assembly.

The small notch should be situated at the top edge closest to the "P" symbol.

Snap Cover In Place
Manually Move SUV
Shift Back To Park
Gently snap the access cover back into place.

For more, please check out all of my 2018-2023 Jeep Wrangler DIY Maintenance Guides.

If you found this guide to be helpful, please consider making a small donation by clicking on the "Donate" button located to the right of this paragraph. Thank you!
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